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Brain Disease

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NEWS
August 16, 2011 | By Rosie Mestel, Los Angeles Times / For the Booster Shots blog
Addiction is “not simply a behavioral problem involving too much alcohol, drugs, gambling or sex,” the American Society of Addiction Medicine declared this week. Instead, the society notes, “Addiction is a primary, chronic disease of brain reward, motivation, memory and related circuitry.” In other words, addiction is not just about the act of raising a bottle to the lips, drawing deeply on a cigarette or bingeing guiltily in chocolate bars in private. There just might be something amiss in your head that compels you to behave that way.  “The disease is about brains, not drugs.
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BUSINESS
November 7, 2013 | By Ken Bensinger
A brain-injury claim by former National Football League player Tony Dorsett was thrown out by a California workers' compensation panel just months before he was diagnosed with early signs of chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a debilitating condition linked to repeated blows to the head. The 59-year-old Hall of Fame running back's claim was dismissed in May when a workers' compensation judge ruled that because Dorsett had agreed to an $85,000 settlement for injuries to "multiple orthopaedic body parts" in 1991, he could not file another claim for any subsequent injury, state records show.
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SPORTS
January 10, 2013 | By Sam Farmer
Retired NFL star Junior Seau had a degenerative brain disease when he committed suicide in May, according to a study by the National Institutes of Health. ABC News/ESPN reported Thursday that Seau's family was recently told of the findings, which determined the brain of the All-Pro linebacker showed abnormalities associated with chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). Seau died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the chest in his beachfront home in Oceanside. His family agreed to have his brain studied, to determine whether there could possibly be a link between the hits to the head he absorbed as a football player and his suicide.
NEWS
April 8, 2013 | By Melissa Healy
While former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher was reported to have died of stroke on Monday, few experts doubt that dementia, the disease she lived with for at least the final 12 years of her life, contributed powerfully to her demise. "Dementia means brain failure, and brain failure ultimately causes death from immobility, malnutrition and infection," among other downstream effects, said Dr. Paul S. Aisen, director of the Alzheimer's Disease Cooperative Study at the University of California San Diego.
NEWS
November 2, 2010 | By Shari Roan, Los Angeles Times
Public perception of mental illness and addiction has changed significantly -- and for the good -- in the last 15 years. That doesn't mean, however, that people feel comfortable working or living near or being friends with someone with mental illness, according to a major new survey. The study compared people's responses to vignettes involving mental illness and addiction to gauge public understanding of the illness and feelings toward those who are ill or addicted. The surveys took place in 1996 and 2006.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 10, 2012 | By Thomas Curwen, Los Angeles Times
More than a year after the diagnosis, Maureen Bryant had grown accustomed to making excuses for her husband. When Stu stood behind a tattooed woman in line at Panda Express, and said loudly, "Wow, that's a lot of tattoos," Moe stepped between him and the woman and apologized. When he repeatedly wandered into the house that was being built down the street - despite the "No Trespassing" sign and the fence - she explained to the owner that he was just curious. Possibly the most embarrassing episode occurred when they were coming home from dinner, and she dashed into a mini-mart at a marina in Oxnard to buy milk.
BUSINESS
October 18, 2005 | From Associated Press
The two pharmaceutical companies that make the drug Tysabri said they had found no new cases of a rare brain disease among nearly 1,500 people who took the suspended drug to treat rheumatoid arthritis and Crohn's disease. Elan Corp. of Dublin, Ireland, and Biogen Idec Inc. of Cambridge, Mass., said their screening of people who took Tysabri in clinical trials for both diseases had turned up no new cases of progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy.
NEWS
December 1, 1997 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
Researchers said they had found a way to sneak vitamin C past the so-called blood-brain barrier, the gatekeeper that protects the brain from infection. They said if their method works in people, it could offer a new approach to treating Alzheimer's disease and other diseases that come from damage to brain cells. This is because vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant, working to prevent damage caused by everyday life that leads to diseases such as cancer, heart disease and perhaps even Alzheimer's.
NEWS
October 16, 2005 | Rebecca Boone, Associated Press Writer
From the moment Joan Kingsford first saw her husband stagger in his welding shop three months ago, she wanted two things: his recovery and to know what had made him sick. She didn't get either. Six doctors and several weeks later, Alvin Kingsford, 72, died. Doctors suspect sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. The fatal brain-wasting illness can only be conclusively diagnosed with an autopsy.
NEWS
July 5, 1987 | THOMAS H. MAUGH II, Times Science Writer
Buoyed by their early success at treating Parkinson's disease in both animals and a small number of humans by transplanting adrenal tissues into the brain, researchers are accelerating brain graft experiments to treat diseases that involve brain degeneration. Among their immediate targets are such common disorders as Alzheimer's and Huntington's diseases, researchers said at an international meeting on brain grafting here last week.
SCIENCE
February 6, 2013 | By Joseph Serna, Los Angeles Times
As baby boomers enter their golden years, the number of people afflicted with Alzheimer's disease is expected to reach 13.8 million by 2050 - millions more than previously anticipated, according to a new study in the journal Neurology. If researchers can't find a way to reduce the prevalence of the brain disease, the cost to care for all of these patients could top $1 trillion a year, experts say. Alzheimer's is a progressive brain disease that damages patients' memory and cognitive skills, ultimately leaving them unable to care for themselves.
NEWS
January 10, 2013 | By Tony Perry
Advanced tests conducted by the National Institutes of Health on the brain of football star Junior Seau, who committed suicide in May, showed he had signs of a degenerative brain disease, the Associated Press reported. The examination of Seau's brain showed "abnormalities consistent with chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE)," the kind of injury associated with repetitive head injuries, the AP said. An initial autopsy on Seau performed by the San Diego County medical examiner found no apparent damage to his brain from years of football.
SPORTS
January 10, 2013 | By Sam Farmer
Mike Mularkey is out as coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars. Like Kansas City's Romeo Crennel, Mularkey was fired after one abysmal season. Both the Jaguars and Chiefs finished a league-worst 2-14.  “I know Mike well and do not want anyone to misinterpret the rationale behind my decision,” Jaguars General Manager David Caldwell said. “Mike is an excellent coach and I am sure he will succeed in his next stop in the NFL.  However, I must do what I believe is best for the Jacksonville Jaguars and immediately explore every avenue possible to turn our football team around.  For that to happen as seamlessly as we want, and as quickly as our fans deserve, I feel it is in everyone's best interests for an immediate and clean restart.” Said Jaguars owner Shad Khan: “Mike Mularkey is leaving our organization with my utmost respect.
SPORTS
January 10, 2013 | By Sam Farmer and Rosie Mestel
Junior Seau, among the greatest linebackers in NFL history, suffered from degenerative brain disease when he fatally shot himself in May, the National Institutes of Health said in a study released Thursday, another blow to a league whose former players say they were never warned about the dangers of head injuries. More than 2,000 former players are suing the NFL, contending the league never properly addressed the problems with head injuries and in many cases withheld information about the long-term effects associated with them.
SPORTS
January 10, 2013 | By Melissa Rohlin
Minnesota Timberwolves power forward Kevin Love is expected to miss eight to 10 weeks after having surgery to repair a broken right hand. Love sustained the injury in a game on Jan. 3 against Denver. It was the second such injury this season for Love, who broke the same hand in the preseason but returned rather quickly, missing only the first three weeks of the regular season. Love, who is in the first year of a $62-million contract extension he signed last January, should be sidelined until around mid-March, about a month before the playoffs begin.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 20, 2012 | By Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times Film Critic
"Head Games" isn't fooling around. It's a complex, determined look at one of the most pernicious problems facing organized sports on all levels, but because its director is Steve James, this is more than your standard problem documentary. James is not only the director of "Hoop Dreams," the consensus pick as the best sports doc ever made, he is also, as last year's "The Interrupters" demonstrated, a filmmaker with an unusually deft touch. There's more nuance in "Head Games," more space for a wider perspective, than we usually see in films that tell us in no uncertain terms that the sky is falling.
SCIENCE
September 5, 2012 | By Melissa Healy, Los Angeles Times
As the National Football League kicks off a new season, a study appearing in a leading medical journal underscores the long-term costs of the game on those who play it. A study tracking 3,439 retired players with five or more seasons in the NFL found these athletes four times as likely as other men their age to die of Alzheimer's disease or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, better known as Lou Gehrig's disease. Among the league's "speed players" - those who build up substantial speed before they make a tackle or are brought down by one - the odds of dying of those causes were even greater.
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